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Justice for children in Dominican Republic

In one of the first ever trafficking sentences in Santiago, Dominican Republic, a woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually exploiting two children.

Two young girls, Isha* and Lucy*, had been held captive in the trafficker’s home, where they were subjected to sexual exploitation. But thanks to the support of people like you, IJM’s team acted quickly with authorities to bring the girls to safety in December 2020.

We supported authorities to arrest the trafficker and secure pre-trial detention without bail, preventing her from harming other children during the course of the 20-month trial.

Isha and Lucy chose to testify against the trafficker, and their bravery helped secure this strong sentence.
Now, Isha and Lucy can move forward with their lives in freedom, knowing they have helped protect other children from being abused.  

Sonia Hernandez, IJM Dominican Republic´s Associate Director of Public Justice System Strengthening, explained that Santiago “is an area of jurisdiction where we have had many challenges and had seen few convictions. The fact that the court is issuing a strong sentence represents a great achievement for the community, especially the children who can see they will be protected.”

“Each trial represents a critical moment to obtain justice for the survivor and to send a message to the community that these criminals will be held accountable. Each conviction represents a key milestone in a survivor´s journey to restoration because the State heard them, believed them, and took action to protect them,” Sonia added.

Since 2013, IJM has invested in sustainable capacity building with the Dominican Public Ministry, coming alongside police, judges, prosecutors, and other service providers through training.

Learn more about child trafficking and how you can help stop it


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